Want to join us fixing secondary school? call Luke on 078 278 11139

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Campus Party Berlin!

Luke, Alex and Charlie travelled to Berlin to take part in the O2 App Workshop, as part of the Campus Party Europe festival. It was an awesome experience and we have breathed new life into our vision for Change The Future!

Friday, December 16, 2011

We have created the brief for the Change The Future pitch website.

this details what we want our web builders to do.

This image shows the page that lists our Supporters. Most are who we want, but some of them are real now, such as David Gribble, Derry Hannam, ESSA and O2

Luke at TEDx London

When Luke went to TEDx London, he met some great people and was inspired by some great talks.
Here's a short sneaky video to give you a sense of the place:

Monday, October 3, 2011

Meeting the education Guru

Today was an exciting day because I met with Derry Hannam.

He's a really important person to me because he is
  • an ex-Ofsted inspector
  • ex-Headteacher/Deputy head
  • Occasional government advisor on Education policy
  • Author and researcher
  • lovely
He's also a real advocate of alternative approaches to education although he works and focuses on the mainstream as opposed to residing in a bubble of hippy schools.
When I arrived he was just finishing an email essentially advising the dutch government on how to inspect Sudbury Valley schools. (In many ways, more radical that my democratic school)

 Asides from a random bird watching excursion he took me on at the mouth of Southampton, we were pretty thick in ChangeTheFuture for 2 days.
He was completely amazing and gave me many exciting leads we're following now.
I feel like it's coming together. Charlie and I just need to put in the time.

It's largely about finding a lead web developer now. All the other tasks feel within arms reach, largely thanks to Derry.

Derry convinced us to definitely include primary school.
"You can't just not listen to what a 10 year old  has to offer just cause they're a year too young to be in secondary school. The problems reach beyond secondary education."

IDEC, Grib, MY MOTHER and moving to Brighton

So I spent a couple of weeks at IDEC - the International Democratic Education Conference, this year held in England, by my old school Sands.
These are the Sands student volunteers!

I've been to 2 before (India and Berlin) and they were pretty great with an awesome bunch of people, though I've always found it a tiny bit like preaching to the choir/people slapping each other on the back or at least just being in a bit of a bubble... It's such a fundamental need of mine for beautiful education to be accessible to everyone, not just those who can afford to pay for it privately, which is what all these democratic schools (in England at least) have to be, cause the government can't get their head round them.

I held a workshop on ChangeTheFuture
where I invited people to critique the idea.

It was cool getting different peoples' ideas and particularly hearing the things they thought were the biggest risks...

There were some amazing speakers including Yaacov Hecht who is like mr Democratic Education of Israel and in particular a guy called Derry Hannam, who I was really impressed by.

He was a great speaker, kinda like Ken Robinson; enjoyed himself, but full of information and interesting and challenging ideas. I decided I needed to meet up with him to discuss ChangeTheFuture.

Before this, I would meet up with David Gribble; essentially the founder of Sands to talk about how CTF is shaping up. He's like my grandad, and always fun and inspiring to chat to about education (or anything) and learn about what books and things he's working on.

My mum's on the left.
She's realised her dream of horses suddenly a few years ago- something she was unable to do as a little girl in Rhodesia. Now she's swapped her last bits of money for a field of Rocky mountain horses.

She's always been really straight with me when I've not done things as well as I could have.
As a kid, I'd come to her showing off a drawing I did, and she'd usually say "Hm. Yeah it's alright I suppose" and she was right. And I'd do it again, better. She's a harsh critic, but also one of the most overwhelming knowledgable people; like an bottomless pit of information about politics and history and has a strong history of activism.

My brother works as a teacher, and my half brother (on my dad's side works in film)..my dad (who I only met when I was 12) is a bit more technical/computer savvy, doing graphic design. They're all people who enjoy a good debate in politics and have strong ideas about things. It's just mad that I am so much like all of them.

Moving to Brighton
I now live in a house of 10. Boys & Girls, half students and half not.
We had a housewarming BBQ with the neighbours who've just moved in :]

Saturday, September 17, 2011

TEDx London brief excitement from Charlie

Luke has managed to get into the TEDxLondon event today. The theme was Education Revolution!

TEDx London website

He has let people know about us and our plans to create a system that will bring all people together, particularly students, in reshaping secondary education.

We are at a very exciting moment right now. It feels like we are tip-toeing on the edge of a spring board, just gathering the last bits of courage before diving deep.

Very shortly, we will be needing lots of help from people - searching for super talented web designers/system developers, helping us spread the word, getting funding, getting artists involved, creating pitch videos, figuring out how to become an official organisation, etc

Sunday, May 8, 2011

How closely my school (not that i'm there any more but it will always be my school) matches the
the Guardian are doing

plus some photos i took at sands : ]


Active 9/10– students built climbing wall in school + do quite a lot of trips out swimming, climbing, etc. 2 treehouses, allotments, not massive grounds cause it’s a smallish school which receives no state funding and has many students from poor backgrounds, but it works!
occasional martial arts lessons etc – just ask for them in the meeting and they’ll happen if enough people want
  Calm 9/10 – lots of zones for socialising or reading a book on a sofa (and put some music on the cd player/watch a film anytime) all rooms like music room are always open, summerhouse the students made. No bells – you have to be on top of your schedule; no one will come get you

Comfortable 10/10 – carpeted and loads of sofas! But no slippers – you wear socks upstairs

Creative and colourful 9/10 – art room is always open – lots of things to do; crazy hobbit-like hive of creative stuff; students art in most rooms of school and sculptures all over the place!

Expert 9/10 – teachers truly passionate; listen as much as speak – allowing lessons to digress if students are fascinated with something and go off on a tangent. Fun/silly/hands on most of the time. No celebs though!

Flexible 9/10 – lessons aren’t cumpulsory at sands (though no one really misses the key subjects because they’re well taught, and any reasons for not attending are heard and solved)
it’s probably most often art that people continue with after the lesson’s ended, as they’re really wrapped up in what they’re doing and really want to finish it while inspired

Friendly 10/10 – no assemblies – we have school meetings where we make all the decisions a head teacher would (including things like hiring/sacking staff) – students and staff get one vote each. Everyone called by 1st name. staff are more like uncles and aunts that you look up to and think are amazing and wise and clever and funny

Listening 10/10 – after being in a school that’s run by the students and seeing how well it works and ultimately how much everyone who went there loved it and is doing such amazing things now as adults; I see school councils as a weak second best (but can still be loads better than most current schools)

Inclusive 10/10 –this is easier for sands because it’s less than 100 people; but the det fri gymnasium in Copenhagen is basically sands with a thousand students, so clearly this personalised approach and democratic operation is scalable

International 8/10 – students help make lunch and they’re a mix of mostly local produce and things from the school allotments! Could probably be more world dishes though.

Outside 8/10 – yeah, quite a lot of out of school things happen, particularly when it’s sunny, like heading to spitchwick where everyone leaps of the cliffs into the stream, or going for georgraphy walk-picnics on Dartmoor and studying funguses

Technological 5/10 – definitely no budget for anything like this. People are very welcome to use their own kit though.. and don’t abuse mp3 players and stuff

What the perfect school would have

No homework – yes. home work isn’t compulsory but it is allowed

A flexible timetable – yes? there’s still a timetable but it isn’t compulsory, there’s CHOICE sessions and the timetable’s obviously up for debate if you have an issue with it

An hour-long lunchbreak – yep. School finishes at 4:30 though (includes 15 mins of everyone cleaning their allocated area of the school – no cleaners to clean up after us!)

Pets – yess Huw the welsh science teacher usually has his dog running around!

First-aid lessons – yes ish.. we used to do these, haven’t seen them for a while

A choice of uniform – yes? no uniform unsurprisingly ; )
also pretty much no bullying. I think people only want others to suffer when they’re suffering

After-school clubs in all sorts of subjects
not really. Could happen if a few people asked for it but we have long days and everyone’s ready to go home I think

Hot dinners- yes hot lunches 90% of time

An iPad for each pupil. No! kinda silly though? That’d be about 30 billion pounds for every student

A football field - yep

Fewer tests – it still does GCSEs (unlike Acorn in Gloucestershire whichis worth looking at)